Thor Chateau 28Z after 18 months
We have had the Thor Chateau 28Z for a about 18 months and have been out about 15 times. I remain very happy with the design and layout but about as unhappy as everyone about the quality and customer support. Here is a brief synopsis. Anyone needing more information can contact me directly.
Bad truck battery – the truck battery seemed to self-discharge in about two days. I thought this was due to my own inexperience but once I realized the thing simply would not hold a charge I replaced it and the premature self-discharge problem went away. Note: this happened a few days after I picked up the RV and should have been handled under warranty but wasn’t worth the effort and argument. Many of the repairs I ultimately preformed should have been handled under warranty but round trip to the dealer alone cost about $35-50 in gasoline and an entire day.
Noisy window above couch – repaired under warranty. This took two trips to dealer to finally fix.
No air connection on inside tires – the extension tubes connected to the inside tires did not actually connect so air pressure meant to inflate the tires only pressurized the tubes. This gave a false reading making it difficult to get the exact pressure. Should have been repaired under warranty but was not worth the day trip to the dealer. I paid a truck-tire dealer to change out the faulty extensions.
DC Connect Switch – a wire broke off the back of the switch. I fixed this myself though it should have been repaired under warranty but was not worth the day trip to the dealer. This is the switch used to connect the house battery to the truck battery and is used to start the truck when its battery is dead.
Loose wires – I first noticed the plugs inside above the sink and under the table would turn on and off at random. After several days of effort removing panels and plugs I finally traced this down to lose wires at the GFI in the bathroom and the outside plug. After pulling the inserted wires out of all the plugs and reconnecting to the screw terminals the problem went away. I ended up creating a crude line drawing for the entire RV.
Back-up camera – the backup camera auto-iris failed. I could still see an image but only when there was just the “right” amount of light. Too dark and it was black, too light and it was completely white. I found a brand new exact fit camera on Amazon for less than $40 and replaced it myself. It would have been over $350 parts and labor. Note this was quite a repair job as I had to pull the paneling off the inside of the cabinet above the bed which was attached with about a zillion long staples. I reattached it with screws in case I have to remove it again.
LP Gas Leak – the LP gas alarm went off intermittently a few times the first few months we had the RV. We could not find any internal leaks. Strangely, opening the windows didn’t seem to make much of a difference. Finally found the leak outside directly above the tank. One of the fittings was loose. Took it off (it was reverse threaded), added some thread sealant, and tightened it back up. No more alarms.
Poor connection at junction box under bed – This one gave us quite a scare. I was running a space heater which was drawing about 8 amps. The wire-nut twist connector under the bed must have been poorly made because there was an ohmic connection that got very hot, melted the plastic cover as well as the black electrical tape wrapped around it, producing a “something’s burning” smell. The thing finally ignited, melting the plastic away completely. At that point the copper inside the wire-nut contacted the electrical box which tripped the GFI in the bathroom. I initially suspected the GFI because it would not reset and because the smell was initially strongest in the bathroom. I replaced the GFI but it would not reset. During this repair I noticed I could also smell it in the basement. Further troubleshooting revealed the burnt connection and blackened box under the bed. The smell was strongest in the bathroom because I had the vent fan on, which drew the smell from under the bed through the subfloor.
Generator would not start – caused by me not running the generator periodically and not using premium gas once in a while.
Screw Cover Molding Trim (front and back) – Deteriorated because of sun exposure. Bought some on-line and fixed myself.
Still need to fix
Blind above couch – string broke
Tank heaters separating – bought some glue, need to apply
Keep-alive charger for truck battery - should have done this a lot sooner.
DPM meter on house voltage – I bought this on eBay for less than $5 mounted this in aplastic box on the AV power cable above the couch.
LED lights throughout – big heat and power saver. I am not happy with the quality of these lights though and will try others soon.
Fan in bedroom vent – tied to light power since I had extra amps because of the LEDs.
12v accessory connection in bedroom (one of the cigarette lighter connections) - I bought this on eBAy and mounted it above the bed.
Airplane style reading lamps in bedroom – put these up against the window as the existing light shines in your eyes.
Space heaters – suggested by the dealer’s check out guy when we picked up the RV = “use their electricity, not your LP gas” One caveat: watch current draw.
Swivel TV mount – really helps with viewing angle.